Lungo Vs Espresso

Lungo Vs Espresso

Every coffee lover would know about different types of coffee. Espresso is the most common type of coffee that you will come across. It is a common coffee drink for all coffee lovers. So, you would definitely have espresso in your life, but do you know about a lungo? It is quite similar to the espresso as it comes from amachine.

Though both the coffee comes from the same machine, there are significant differences between both that sets them apart. It is important that you learn how to differentiate between the two coffees in order to enjoy it at its best.

This article is all about finding the differences between espresso and lungo, so let’s get started.

Espresso Vs Lungo

Both the coffees differ in taste, quantity, and caffeine level. Espresso has a bold and rich flavour, whereas lungo is not much harder. The latter needs twice the water as the former. In terms of the caffeine level, lungo has more caffeine content than an espresso. So, if you want a caffeine shot, you can prefer the former. These are the basic differences that you will find in these two coffees. To better taste the nuances of these two amazing coffee variants, you need to dive deep into their flavour profile.

What is an Espresso?

It is a concentrated and rich shot of caffeine that can refresh your senses. The shot is generally one to two ounces. The hot water forces through the coffee beans in the coffee to give out espresso shots. The extraction of the shot generally takes around 20-30 seconds in the machine. There are three different parts of this coffee that you need to understand. The body is the darker bottom portion. You can find a lighter colour in the middle, which is the heart, and the foamy top is known as crema. People mainly prefer espresso shot by itself, but some add milk and sugar to it. If you think a shot is not enough, you can add 2-3oz more and make it a triple shot to make it stronger and better tasting.


  • The shot’s major highlight is that it has a bold and concentrated flavor that is hard to resist.
  • Generally, shots are served direct without any variation.
  • Shots do not use much water in it.
  • There are three layers in a shot: body, heart, and foamy crema.


  • The only downside that you can mention in a shot is that it is too strong. So, if you are someone who doesn’t like the dark and too strong coffee, you might want to avoid a shot of this coffee.

What is Lungo?

In Italian, the word means long. It is a different way to make an espresso shot giving a milder flavor to the coffee. It comes from coffee machine, but it takes a longer time than an espresso shot. While it takes around 30 seconds, a lungo might take up a whole minute. It will require more water than its other variants that gives a milder flavor to it. So, espresso is known as the shorter pull, and lungo is longer for its longer processing time. When it comes to flavor, this coffee variant has a bitter taste. As the shot takes a longer time than an espresso, the flavor profile becomes much darker.


  • It is known for its slightly mild flavor and more caffeine content
  • It is a long shot that requires more water.
  • It is also served straight without any variations.


  • It is also bitter in taste. So, it would be harder for people who like their coffee to be lighter.
  • There is no foamy crema layer.
  • The only major setback that you can find is that it takes way too longer to pull.

Differences Between Lungo and Espresso

So far, we have seen what these two coffees actually means. Even though both come out from the same machines, both the coffees are poles apart. Hence, you need to understand their differences to understand their value better. Below is the differentiation between the coffee variants on the basis of taste, quantity, and caffeine level.


Taste is the major deciding factor that differentiates both the coffee types. The taste will indeed be different due to the varied pull times. Lungo takes a longer time than an espresso to process. Evidently, it will have a harsher and bitter taste. But, with the involvement of water, it is less concentrated, thereby balancing the strong flavor. Espresso, on the other hand, with shorter pull time, has a bold and rich flavor that is hard to resist. Espresso is a much stronger shot than a lungo. So, in terms of taste, lungo will be harder yet lighter, and espresso is richer and stronger.


Quantity is about the number of ingredients each coffee has in it. We know that lungo has twice the water than an espresso; evidently, they are larger. Espresso needs lesser water and more coffee, so they are short in quantity. A regular coffee shot will have one espresso and two of lungo due to their quantity and efficiency. Playing with quantity may not provide you with a satisfactory result. It is better to keep the quantity intact.

Caffeine Level

The final differentiating factor is the caffeine level. Both are high in caffeine; now, the question is which one is higher. It is a general thumb rule, the longer you pull an espresso shot, the more caffeine it will have in it. When you completely extract the coffee grinds, it will automatically increase the caffeine content. Lungo, on the other hand, has way more caffeine content than an espresso. We can blame it on the long pull times. A lungo stays in the machine longer than an espresso; making is stronger in caffeine.

Lungo and espresso are the marvelous coffee products that people prefer. While espresso is quite popular, lungo is not among the favorite in the crowd. Both have significant differences making them identical. If you want a richer and stronger taste, you can go for espresso. A lighter yet harder flavor profile calls for the need for lungo. Next time, when you are in a café ordering the next coffee shot, you know what to prefer and how to go about it.

Is Lungo Stronger Than Espresso?

In terms of flavor, it is milder than the other coffee variants. The use of more water and less caffeine makes this coffee a little less dark than the espresso. So people who prefer their coffees to be light can always consider lungo over it. With its lighter and yet earthy flavors, it makes a perfect shot of morning coffee.

Can You Use Lungo For A Latte?

While there are no hard and fast rules for making a latte with lungo, if you want your coffee to be creamy and thick, you must prefer espresso. It has more water that makes the consistency thinner, which is not preferable for a latte. If you want your latte to be creamy, milky, and full of texture, you better use the thicker coffee instead of the lighten one.

Can You Add Milk To Lungo?

It totally depends on personal preferences. As mentioned earlier, people often use milk in their espresso, so yes, you can add it to your lungo as well. You can add 10-20ml of milk according to your taste. It is important to understand that lungo is lighter than espresso due to the presence of water, so you need to add more milk. But make sure the consistency is not much thicker or thinner. There should be a balance. Hence, a 10ml milk for 2oz of lungo is considered standard.

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